tv The Communicators CSPAN June 23, 2012 6:30pm-7:00pm EDT
they recently unfolding online could it does not mean that the offline incarnations the matter. they still do. they're still very important and they work in tandem. but it is hard to imagine for most of us any kind of it -- any kind of significant world events where it happens without those rights being exercised online. so the inclusion of that in the report leads to the comprehensiveness of the report. >> do you mean freedom of speech or access to the internet? >> broadly speaking, the same rights that apply offline apply online. freedom of speech and expression is the most common. but also, freedom of assembly at freedom of religion.
that should apply online as it does offline. there is a separate and related carson about access. it ties in -- conversation about taxes. it -- there is a separate and related conversation on access. i think, when we talk about the human rights report, we're talking about protecting the openness of the platform and protecting people's rights to exercise their rights online. >> this is our guest reporter this week. >> how much correlation is there between the online human rights violations and the offline? the same countries that you have concerns about all-to do offline and the correlated
fears. >> there is a good deal of correlation. i think it probably speaks to the kind of indivisibility of these rights wherever they are exercised. governments that see the exercise of freedom of expression or association as a threat to what is sometimes a regime of questionable legitimacy tend to see those things as a threat, whether or in a towne happening square or in an online chat room. for that reason, they restrict offline and restrict rights online. i think there are different groups. democracy has also struggled with how to adapt and respond to new technologies. they are often very well- intentioned counterparts in a variety of ministries around the world. we are figuring out, ok, i start
from the premise that the same rights apply online as of one, but how do i make them real with expansion of regulations happening in different sectors, etc., etc. they make the same mistakes that people do. there is -- in terms of trying to shut down speech or restricted the internet, there is also the openness of the conversation about how do we reckon with these new technologies? what should we do? how should we respond to the challenge of developing infrastructure, etc., and where those conversations are open in thet in the places they have been are corrected more easily. >> and looking at it, do you also have problems sometimes in making the distinction? some countries may be well-
intentioned and make a mistake. is there copyright protection or child pornography and sometimes legitimate excuses for legitimate reasons for restricting -- are they cited by foreign governments and determine whether or not they are in fact legitimate? >> you're quite right. there is a set of legitimate challenges that arise as they do offline in terms of law enforcement or intellectual property protection. and there are some governments that star from the premise that we can manage these challenges in a principled way and it won't be easy and there will be times when i have to make tough calls and we will be criticized and we will realize upon reflection that we took the wrong approach theire. then back up, rewind and then
there are other governments to harness the legitimate and to draw the distinction that governments were really seeking to undermine their citizens or repressed their citizens are not taking a advantage of legitimate actions or law enforcement etc. and older -- in order to justify their own owners behavior's. >> -- in order to justify their own onerous behaviors. most center on censorship, blocking access to websites, etc. in the last few years, partly because of an enormous but on this issue to a half years ago
-- to lend a half years ago, there is -- two and a half years ago. there are other ways that internet freedom is under threat. there are a tax of websites, a distributor denial of service, which is meant to take down new sites or civil society groups or ngo's etc. hit is the attack of information that is out there. there is also an attack offline for people what they do online consummate post something on a facebook page and then they are tracked down and abuse in a physical way. that is a freedom issue, to give that person is being punished for exercising their rights on line and also the fear factor that that contributes and the self-censorship in those
societies. emerging threats are like those in many contexts. contacts have different doses of each of those -- contexts have different doses of each of those. >> where are some of the most -- what are some of the most egregious examples you have found worldwide when it comes to restricting? " it is well known that china's restrictions on the internet are widespread. one of the things that we have seen, not only in china, but in a number of other countries, there is targeted censoring, going after a single block posters of them like that in addition to brot filters, etc. in terms of fixating on what
content people can access, china and syria are terrible abusers. we see that unfold in front of our eyes. again, each context is different. there are a number of states where it is problematic. one of the arguments that i make when i engaged with foreign governments is the of vengeful economic trade-off that states that make when they restrict vast amounts of information or create an environment where the internet is a platform for exchanging a termination is muted by the self-censorship the people have appeared vietnam -- people have. vietnam has a new restriction that they are introducing. they make websites liable for the content that users post on
their sides. is that commercial implications, not just human rights applications. they overlap " a lot. there is a case to be made in -- they overlap quite a lot. there is a case to be made in making sure that the internet is part of that formula. >> in terms of monitoring and tracking people attack them -- people that to be on line, is the actual monitoring and tracking is concerned? do you see that in itself as a human rights violations or an area concerned or you do not worry about it all until it leads to another violation? >> it is important to divide into different purposes for that. obviously, there are legitimate countries, including our own,
that have legitimate law enforcement interest in monitoring and tracking, that those systems are adopted by a democratically elected legislature and executed by a democratically elected executive branch and the broader context matters. it also matters what the purposes. it is hard in many countries where, like syria or iran, where people who are monitored and tractor not potential terrorists, -- monitored and tracked are not only potential terrorists, but human rights monitors. to answer your question, it does matter with the intention is and it matters to take a look at the
broader context. >> last year, during the era of spring, we could see the -- during the arab spring, we could see the traffic in egypt shutdown. rotc the same thing in syria? how has egypt changed over the past year? >> in syria, there is still in a traffic going on. but they have been using technology in order to target people, which is one of the reasons why the president signed a new executive order recently that allows sanctions to be put on individuals or entities that are helping the syrian or iranian regime get the kind of technology that they used to target people. but we know that it has been and continues to be important for the syrian people to tell their story to the outside world.
we know the bits of footage, etc., that are getting out and how important these technologies can be in documenting a recording in this case the story of a terrible war. in terms of egypt, my understanding is that the internet -- the shutdown that happened last year for several days, one of the things that happened there was bad wasn't sustainable -- one of the lessons that was learned was that a country that was on line and taking them on line -- ticking them off line is incredibly difficult to sustain. i don't -- taking them offline is incredibly difficult to sustain. i don't remember how much, but they look at how much money was lost during those days of the shutdown. there are many lessons to take away and many and standings that we may not have for several
years -- many understandings that we may not have for several years. >> you mentioned the executive order on the technology and syria. the same technology that can be used for legitimate reasons. is that the way to do it, to go by country? this country has stepped over the line or should there be a broader way to see how technology is exported? >> there should be a broadway. one of the reasons why the executive order was so narrow and targeted against the worst of the worst was because we recognized that this is a space which is perhaps the best example of the concept where it
has potentially positive and potentially negative purpose. if we take the objective that we want to limit the access of a regime to technology for the purposes of doing harm or violence or violating the rights of its citizens. but at the same time, part of it being natalie that there are some legitimate usages to the technology -- not only that there are some legitimate uses to the technology, you don't want to catch things in the filter that they need and want in order to exercise their rights. we recognize that this is a difficult exercise and that it has to be done extremely carefully. that is part of the reason why, a couple of years ago, there was a clarification of they free web based software would be used in iran. there was some confusion over
whether things like female or -- like the male or skype were part of the sanctions in iran. it may know is be the entire solution. secretary clinton highlighted in the hague in december of last year that increasingly a number of companies are taking the lead on this on their own volition or with the year urging of human rights groups and others are doing internal due diligence to say where is this product going and can -- is there a way to know how it is being used. and the products that we make are the reasons for the way they are being used and will allow us to innovate and go forward.
the role of the private sector, putting things on black west will never be the whole solution. you need -- putting things on a blacklist will never be the whole solution. you need to look at it on an ongoing basis. >> you had mentioned earlier, in the u.s., there is law enforcement uses. how much push back do you get when you go out and talk to your counterparts in other countries about the way they look at the internet and say you do this? the criticisms and the debate over net neutrality or the policy and bills that were in congress this year, that these kinds of approaches set bad examples, the fed is a bad
example and people say why should we do what you say when you, the u.s., are not a good practitioner? >> it is absolutely true, on this or any human rights issue, a policy issue, when you raise it overseas, they look at what you're doing at home. broadly speaking, i feel enormous pride in working for the head ministration. there is -- for the administration. there is a commitment across the board to lead by example. this area is no exception. i think you're right. some of the debates that have gone on in our country have revealed the difficulties of managing new challenges as they arrive with regard to security or intellectual security, etc.
one of the things we can be proud of is the way that these things are transacted in the public sphere. there debated. people start facebook pages. some of these have almost been a textbook case of genuine public engagement at the grass-roots level all the way up to congress on key issues about how to manage the emergence of new technologies. my response when talking to the counterparts is, first of all, i do stem from the premise that not only i and my colleagues, but other agencies are working on this from a commitment to principles and trying to figure out the practicalities, the nuts and bolts, the best way to approach these problems as members of congress are trying to do as well. the good news, as we work this out, it is up to public
scrutiny. when criticisms come up, they're dealt with in an open way. that is something that come a very is committed to that, if it would be a long way down the path. >> this is c-span possible " communicators" program. joining us this week is daniel baer, deputy to the secretary of state. we are discussing the human rights report that the state department puts out every year, specifically the internet freedom around the world. on the flip side, how do you use the internet to encourage or promote human rights that the u.s. espouses?
how do you get into north korea? can you give in via the internet? >> very few people in north korea have access to the internet. and a large portion of the soaring government ministries, i would -- of those are in government ministries, i would imagine. there is increasing demand, i think, within north korea for an opening or the ability to access information. it is a very closed environment, enormous human rights violations, so we're focused on looking for the opportunities to widen the space for information and to get the north korean people information from the outset that they so earnestly want. in terms of their broader question about how we are using
internet, i think the story is that we are using the internet not only in this state, but broadly because of the moment we are in. everything is increasingly happening on-line. under the secretary, there has been a concerted effort to take advantage of the opportunity for 21st century statecraft, to reach out to people in more places, people we couldn't have reached for back-and-forth conversation 20 years ago and we now can. we have twitter feeds in 20 different languages. it allows us to have a back-and fourth, obviously, and 140 characters or less on a variety of topics. it comes at a good time because the internet has placed an enormous focusing connecting not
just our foreign policy to government, but to people in other countries. she gave a speech in krakow a few years ago where she talked about the importance of civil society and being changemakers and being part of what supports a healthy society. as she travels the world, she makes a concerted effort to have round tables or town holds four meetings with civil activists it allows her to attract good people virtually as well as allowing those folks in the embassy around the world to engage with the communities, etc. i visited vietnam earlier this year. they can borrow ipads and kindles and they can access american new sites and social networking and it allows us to
have conversations about current events in the world. it keeps an ongoing conversation in a very robust, interesting, and in a contemporary way. >> your office is sending tweets out in farsi. are those access in iran? >> sometimes, they have trouble accessing the state department website. sometimes, they have trouble accessing the human rights report. it turns out that those are not popular publications with other governments. so, yes, they can be blocked. one of the other parts of the policy that secretary clinton has outlined in is the concerted effort to help people navigate the blocks and the hardships and threats that are brought against them. we have given $76 million
perhaps my last few years -- by the end of this year, it will be $100 million -- in programs and grants and ngo's for working on tools and training and research that help us of our citizens to exercise their rights wherever that may be through new technologies. while iran does take enormous steps to limit their citizens access to the internet, there are people or accessing information and sharing it inside iran as well. i hope that people know. i hope there people who can access the messages and the information we are sharing. and i hope certainly that they know that we care about their condition. >> for example, who would be getting those grants? >> we actually don't talk publicly about who exactly they are, but there is a new thing.
fire can use ago, there were not who were working in this space. there has been in incubation the past few years, geeks with a conscience, these people who are at the intersectio of human rights and new technology. they communicate with each other with greater degree of anonymity, who come up with schools -- like there is one that allows you to press a button on your cell phone that what's at your address book so that, if you get picked up off the street, they cannot go after all your friends. that has happened. they develop these programs in response to the emerging threats we see. we talk with activists as much as we can. we try to identify what new bad things governments are trying to do to people and figure out ways to help them protect themselves. oftentimes, the greatest
protection is what i call it digital self-defense. they need to know the kind of fishing or malware they are try to get on their computers. some of it is self-defense training as well that has to be passed through underground railroads to get to people need it most. but we have trained over 7000 activists around the world in the last few years. >> they actually operate inside these countries and you're concerned about their safety? or too much information would make it easier for governments to work their way around the thense's your giving to activists? >> generally, it is obviously a sensitive area and we want the program to be as effective as possible. they are competed through publicly advertised contests and they are extremely competitive. we get an enormous number of
really interesting proposals. at a respect for many of the grantee's, we'll let them decide when and whether they want to disclose that they are receiving support. and we're not the only ones who are supporting them. read the'd like to state department report, state.gov is the website. we have been speaking with daniel baer. >> tomorrow, a look at the obama former campaign and the political media strategy with the campaigns david axelrod and then labolt -- and ben labolt. we'll talk about the day-to-day obama operations and we will look inside the chicago
headquarters. "wrote to the white house," tomorrow at 6:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. eastern here on c-span. on tuesday at the heritage foundation, a former alabama congressmen artur davis. he seconded the nomination of barack obama at the democratic national convention. other speakers included ohio congressman jim jordan and tea party pay to co-founder jenny that martin. this is one hour. >> ok, we will go ahead and get started. i hear we are out of food. sorry. i guess it pays to show up early, right? [laughter] todd will like that. thank you, everybody, for
joining us to the bloggers meeting. welcome. welcome to our viewers on c- span. thank you for attending in today. for those of you who are new, basically, we will have three speakers. we will give them an opportunity to make some remarks and then we will take your questions. we will begin with artur davis. his the former member of congress from alabama. he represented the seventh congressional district in alabama for eight years. as a democrat, he held leadership positions within the party and was one of the first members of congress to endorse barack obama in 2008. today, he has a different perspective on things as a result of some of the policies in theere pursued an aftermath of obama's election. please